After collaborating with the British Motor Corporation in the 1960s, Hopkirk became closely associated with the Mini brand, which saw popularity in 1964.

The driver, who was born in Belfast, started his professional career in 1955 by competing in circuit racing and hillclimbs. He then went on to win the Hewison Trophy, given to the most successful Irish rally driver, three times in a row.


His big break came in 1956 when the Standard Motor Company gave him a factory drive at the prestigious RAC Rally, which he led for a short time before experiencing mechanical problems.


After driving a Hillman Husky and a Sunbeam Rapier for the Rootes Group, Hopkirk joined BMC. It was there that he made his name by making the Mini Cooper S into an iconic vehicle.

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Hopkirk's triumph in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally while riding shotgun with Henry Liddon in the now-iconic #37 red and white roofed Mini Cooper S was arguably his best professional achievement. The victory occurred precisely one year after the car's debut at the renowned alpine rally competition. He became well-known after the victory thanks to a telegraph from the then-UK Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home.

Driving for Mini in 1967, Hopkirk would also win the renowned Acropolis Rally in Greece.

Hopkirk was among the inaugural entrants of the Rally Hall of Fame, an exhibition that opened in Finland and where new inductees are unveiled during each Rally Finland, together with Timo Makinen, Rauno Aaltonen, and Erik Carlsson, in 2010.

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Where was born?

Paddy Hopkirk was born in Belfast, United Kingdom

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